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Byron Shire
March 3, 2024

Lismore council workers ‘go head to head’ with African refugees

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African All Stars Captain Adeyemi Johnson and Councillor Gianpiero Battista will face off in the annual Lismore Legends vs African All Stars football friendly this Friday at Crozier Field. Photo contributed
African All Stars Captain Adeyemi Johnson and Councillor Gianpiero Battista will face off in the annual Lismore Legends vs African All Stars football friendly this Friday at Crozier Field. Photo contributed

Lismore City Council staff will be hoping to thwart a winning hat trick when they meet the African All Stars in their annual football friendly this Friday, October 14, at Crozier Field.

The annual African All Stars vs Lismore Legends football match began in 2007 as a way to build relationships between African refugees and local government employees.

In recent years, the match has taken on a more competitive edge and the Lismore Legends are staring down their third consecutive loss.

‘We have some very passionate football fans on council and we’re determined not to let the African All Stars score a winning hat trick,’ Lismore Legends captain Isaac Smith said.

‘It’s time for council to reclaim the trophy and our wounded pride!’

African All Stars captain Adeyemi Johnson said the African community looked forward to the annual football match and said it demonstrated Lismore’s commitment to resettling refugees and making them feel supported and welcome in their new home country.

‘It fosters relationships between people coming to Australia, foreigners and refugees alike, and those people already living in the community. Helping to build strong bonds between new refugees and others helps them to feel accepted in this society,’ Adeyemi said.

‘The love and affection shown to us by council really builds the confidence of new refugees. Sport brings people together regardless of race or religion, and that spreads unity and love. We not only have refugees in our team but also new migrants and people from all sorts of backgrounds, so they too can experience that feeling of unity and community acceptance.

‘This match is so important – it brings people together from all walks of life. We so appreciate that Council started this tradition and we want the game to continue forever.’

The African All Stars vs Lismore Legends football friendly will be played on Friday, 14 October at Crozier Field from 5.15pm. There will be a free BBQ and community members are very welcome.


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